Small DNG: A Workflow Breakthrough!

By July 1, 2015 Uncategorized No Comments

The Colorati DNG Hack

Here’s a quick video to illustrate the process from start to finish:


Using our service has always required transferring those bulky Raw files one way or another:

1) Shipping a hard drive -which is *super* reliable, but you have to package and ship.


2) FTP -which is convenient, but slow and sometimes unreliable due to the massive file sizes and limited upload speeds.

There’s been a recent update to Lightroom 4 that invokes some high level wizardry and we think it will blow your mind! It’s this little feature here called Lossy Compression when you select “DNG” in the Export menu.

Small DNG Export Settings

*****SUPER IMPORTANT!!!*****



Here’s the deal… when you choose this option to output your files, Lightroom crunches down the pixel dimensions and applies some other kind of deep magic that makes the files TINY yet retain near full flexibility of a Raw image.

Upload those files to us, we edit them as normal.

From everything we’ve read in the Adobe resources, yes it is using a form of JPEG compression, but amazingly retains the flexibility of a normal Raw file.

In our testing, we had great editing success and found these files to be more than sufficient for our Standard and even our Custom services. Once we’re done editing, we work some magic of our own to extract a new batch of XMPs for you to match up with your original Raw files.

The best part is, once the new XMP file is matched up, the full potential of the Raw file is restored.

The geeky details:

Original DNG and Small DNG file size comparison

We found that a Raw file of 30 MB becomes a Small DNG of about 745 KB. AMAZING! That means for an average order of 700 files for a wedding, you go from 20 Gigs to 521 MB! Sounds way too good to be true, but we want you to try it!

If you happen to be a Bridge user, don’t worry! All you’ve got to do is run your images through the latest DNG converter which is a free download from Adobe. (Windows | Mac)

The same process applies, just use these settings below and you’re golden!Small DNG settings for DNG Converter

We think this is a really slick workflow hack and in our testing have seen amazing results both for the quality of editing and the speed of uploads.

If you are interested in trying this method on your next order, output your files and upload here:

Just don’t forget to fill out an order form!